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It’s Like a Sale at Macy’s

Paul Gessing over at Rio Grande Foundation had an interesting opinion piece recently published in the Albuquerque Journal (subscription) which began:

Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez has proposed a one-eighth cent reduction in the gross-receipts tax rate. If the City Council goes along with the plan, the rate charged within the city would drop from 6.875 cents to 6.75 cents on each dollar spent, and $18 million that would have been budgeted by the city would be returned to taxpayers.

I’ve been asked by at least one individual in Mayor Martin Chavez’s administration, why aren’t we – the Republican blogosphere – all over this. We’re talking about a tax cut that is worth in the neighborhood of $200 million when all is said and done. Shouldn’t we be singing Mayor Marty’s praises? Heralding the fact that he is a tax cutting Mayor. Applauding his sense of financial control. You know, the type of guy we could all get behind for Governor in 2010.

Well, to understand the reason for the lack of enthusiasm, you only need to read the rest of the opinion piece:

Gross-receipts tax rates in Albuquerque have jumped in recent years. The current 6.875 percent rate is 18 percent higher than it was as recently as 2000, when the rate was only 5.8125 percent.

That’s right in the span of six or so years, we’ve seen a whopping 18% increase in the gross receipts tax. Today, it is a full 1.0625% higher than it was just six short years ago. Yet, Mayor Chavez can’t understand why we’re not heralding him as a conquering hero for offering to give back 0.125%. If that 0.125% give back is worth a couple of hundred million, just how much did that rapid tax increase steal from the back pockets of hardworking taxpayers?

We’re not excited because it is just not enough. However, with that said, I’ll take what I can get, so I do support the return of our money. I also would recommend that any Republican on the City Counsel considering not supporting the tax cut, immediately stop by the County Clerk’s office and change their registration to Democrat because that’s where they will need to look for support the next time they are up for re-election.